Adriano de Souza
University's student-athletes continue to shine on and off the field
LA Tech opens season against Ole Miss on August 26
Second consecutive year earning the honor
LA Tech hosts Southern Miss
LA Tech secures three consecutive conference wins for the first time since 1999
De Souza took over the program in 2012 and has since strung together a few rebuilding years in his first four years at LA Tech with the Lady Techsters improving in the win column each season the coaching veteran has been in charge.
In 2015, the Brazilian native guided LA Tech to a 10-20 overall record, the team's best finish since 2011, and a 3-13 mark in Conference USA play. The Lady Techsters recorded the most wins in conference action since the 2009 season with victories over Rice, UAB and Charlotte. Five Lady Techsters were named to the 2015-16 C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll, while junior Jacie McClure was selected to the 2015 C-USA All-Academic Team for her academic and athletic excellence throughout the season.
De Souza also coached a pair of student-athletes that etched their names in the LA Tech record books in 2015 as senior setter Adria Morales and junior libero Alejandra Aviles each excelled on the court during the campaign. Morales surpassed a career milestone in her final game for the Lady Techsters after she notched her 1,000th career assist -- a feat she accomplished in just two seasons in Ruston. As for Aviles, the libero continues to move up the ranks in LA Tech history after she ended the 2015 campaign with 464 digs, which moved her into fourth place in program history for most digs in a single season.
Following the 2014 season, the Lady Techsters placed a student-athlete on an all-conference squad for the first time since 2009 with senior Rebecca Redgen being named Second Team All-Conference USA after ranking fifth in C-USA in both kills and points. Redgen also led all Lady Techsters in kills (381), kills per set (3.74) and points (419.5).
De Souza entered the 2013 season with a rebuilt roster and plenty to prove as a team as LA Tech was a first-year member of Conference USA. The Lady Techsters put together a 7-22 record with a 1-13 mark in league play, while de Souza led his team to a handful of impressive feats in 2013 with a plethora of underclassmen on the roster and just one senior. For the first time since 2010, Louisiana Tech defeated a conference opponent as the Lady Techsters prevailed against Conference USA foe Charlotte, 3-1, on Oct. 4, 2013 in Charlotte, a victory that also marked LA Tech's inaugural win as a member of C-USA in any sport.
In his time at LA Tech, de Souza has coached two student-athletes that have gone on to play professional volleyball internationally.
Former Lady Techster Stephany Salas played under de Souza in his first season as head coach for the Lady Techsters when she ranked fifth in the Western Athletic Conference in digs per set with 3.88 in 60 sets played in league matches as a senior. Salas is currently playing professionally for Gigantes de Carolina in Puerto Rico. The libero finished her two-year career at LA Tech as the all-time leader in digs per set in a career with 4.13.
Helena Gunnarsdóttir graduated from LA Tech in 2016 and has since received an invitation to go back to her native land of Iceland and continue her volleyball career.
In early 2012, Louisiana Tech announced the hiring of de Souza, a longtime Division I assistant coach, from Illinois State as the ninth head coach in Lady Techster volleyball history. In his inaugural season, de Souza's squad compiled a 3-27 record on the court.
De Souza, a native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, replaced Matt Sonnichsen, who resigned following the 2011 season after four years at the helm of the program. The 42-year-old has brought a wealth of both collegiate and international coaching experience to Ruston, as well as recruiting ties in both the U.S. and overseas.
De Souza's coaching resume spans 17 years and boasts stints at the club, high school and collegiate levels, including assistant coaching positions at Illinois State, Miami (OH) and Kent State over the course of his career.
Before coming to Louisiana Tech, de Souza spent the past four years as an assistant volleyball coach at Illinois State where he helped rebuild the Redbirds program, leading it to the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament two straight years.
Prior to his time in Normal, Illinois, de Souza furthered his reputation by serving on the staff at Miami (OH) for three seasons from 2005-07 where he was instrumental in helping the RedHawks reach the 2007 NCAA Tournament after capturing the Mid-American Conference Tournament title that season. Two of Miami's wins that season came against nationally-ranked Ohio, the four-time defending conference champion. The only other team in the country to sweep the Ohio Bobcats in 2007 was national runner-up Stanford.
In de Souza's first season at Miami in 2005, the RedHawks recorded the most wins (17) since the 1998 Mid-American Conference championship team went 27-8. In 2006, Miami finished fourth in the MAC regular-season race, the RedHawks' best finish since 2000.
De Souza was a volunteer assistant at Kent State in both the 2003 and 2004 seasons, while completing his master's degree in sports pedagogy. He also volunteered as an assistant coach with the boys' volleyball team at Stow (Ohio) High School in 2004, and as the head coach of the Club Q Sport 17's team in 2004-05.
Prior to de Souza's time in Ohio, his coaching career in the U.S. started with two years as the head women's volleyball coach at Union College while he took postgraduate courses. In his first head coaching stint, de Souza led the Bulldogs to a second-place finish in the Mid-South Conference and the program's first NAIA regional appearance in his final season in Kentucky (2002).
De Souza, originally from Brazil, a country with a great volleyball history and tradition, began playing the sport at the age of 14. He spent three years (2001-03) as the volleyball coach and co-administrator for two men's teams in the city of Rio Claro, Brazil. His under-21 men's team was the regional runner-up all three years, while his under-19 men's team was the APV League Champion in 2001, and posted a runner-up finish in 2002. In 1999, de Souza mentored the under-21, under-19 and under-16 women's programs at Club Regatas in Campinas, Brazil, before coming to the U.S. to begin his Division I coaching career.
He also served a three-year stint as the head men's volleyball coach at the State University of Campinas (1995-97), where his team won sectional championships in 1996 and 1997, finished second at the Metropolitan Championships in 1995 and 1996, and placed third in 1997.
Since 2001, Adriano has worked with Antonio Rizola, the head coach of the Brazilian Junior National Team, in developing methods to improve players' game intelligence in preparation for South American and World Championships. In 2007, he volunteered for the Brazilian Youth National Team when it competed at the World Championship in Mexico.
He has also been a liaison and interpreter for the U.S. Women's National Team (1994) and Japanese National Junior Team (1993) in their respective visits to world championships in Brazil.
De Souza has co-authored numerous books and articles on sports and coaching. He graduated with his bachelor's degree from Universidade Estadual de Campinas in Sao Paulo, Brazil in December 1997, and completed his master's degree at Kent State in May 2006.
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